Groundbreaking event is on tap for Wednesday
The Crescent City Harbor often exudes a calm, relaxing atmosphere, but inside the harbor office it’s been a chaotic, non-stop scramble to get on track for rebuilding after the destruction wrought by the March 2011 tsunami.
On Wednesday morning, elected officials, public agencies, and private donors who have been integral to the harbor’s reconstruction efforts will be thanked during an invitation-only groundbreaking ceremony for the $33 million reconstruction project.
“It’ll be an opportunity to say thank you and take stock of where we’re at,” said Harbormaster Richard Young. “It’s been a long time coming with a lot of accomplishments along the way, but now you’ll see some results.”
Work on the harbor’s rock slope walls is scheduled to start next week, and all through August Dutra Construction, which was awarded the harbor reconstruction project, should be running full bore drilling steel piles, installing new docks and demolishing old ones.
“It’s going to be exciting to finally get started,” Young said.
State Sen. Doug LaMalfa, Assemblyman Wesley Chesbro, Crescent City Mayor Kathryn Murray, Harbor Commission President Ron Phillips, and a representative of Dutra will speak.
State Assemblyman Jim Nielsen is also scheduled to attend, along with representatives of U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer, U.S. Rep. Mike Thompson, the California Emergency Management Agency and the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
Much of the work that was necessary to get the harbor on track for reconstruction was done behind the scenes, like applying for permits from the California Coastal Commission, pushing for the hasty release of emergency funds allocated to the project and going through a bid process for potential contractors.
The harbor is poised to have roughly half of the new docks installed before this winter’s Dungeness crab season.
The harbor is still applying for a multi-million-dollar loan from the U.S. Department of Agriculture in order to keep the project on schedule.
The entire project is scheduled to be finished in the fall of 2013. Upon completion, the harbor will have 50-year protection, meaning it will be able to withstand the strongest tsunami that has a 2 percent chance of occurring in any given year (i.e. once every 50 years).